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Gutierrez Joins House Judiciary Committee, Flake to Depart

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07011273 (posted Jan. 12, 2007)"

In a move applauded by supporters of comprehensive immigration reform, on 1/11/07 Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the appointment of Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) to the House Committee on the Judiciary, the committee with direct jurisdiction over immigration-related legislation. This good news for immigration advocates followed an unexpected disappointment on 1/10/07, when Republican leadership announced that Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) would lose his seat on the Judiciary Committee.

Representatives Gutierrez and Flake worked together during the 109th Congress to craft bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation. While Rep. Gutierrez's appointment may reflect approval among Democratic leadership for his immigration initiatives, Rep. Flake has accused Republican leadership of removing him from the committee because of his outspokenness in favor of comprehensive reform and his opposition to the party's enforcement-only efforts last fall. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has denied these allegations, stating that reduced committee seats for the minority party caused many Republican members to lose positions they held during the 109th Congress.

On 1/11/07, Speaker Pelosi also announced the appointment of Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Anthony Weiner (D-NY) to the Judiciary Committee. Democratic freshman members Steve Cohen (D-TN), Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Hank Johnson (D-GA) will also join the committee, which is chaired by Representative John Conyers (D-MI).

Republican members of the Judiciary Committee include: Ranking Republican Member Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-TX), Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI), Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC), Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-CA), Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL), Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-CA), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX), and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).